So I decided to get hair extensions.
I got them in Toronto, which is a few hours drive from where I live.
I got them in Toronto because, surprisingly, there didn’t seem to be anywhere reputable close by. There were a few seedy Craigslist style places, and a ton of people who only had Facebook pages instead of websites. Businesses that don’t have websites give me the heebie jeebies, so I decided to go to Toronto and let the grown-ups have my money.
In Toronto, there were many options. They had websites. They had newspaper coverage. They had active social media profiles. They had… wait for it… pictures. (Of both hair, and of the place I would be taking my hair. I know. Madness.)
Anyway, awesome. I get extensions. They cost $450. I go back in two months to get them redone.
Hey, kids! Let’s play math!
Okay, boys and girls. If I get these done every two to three months, and I do it for two years until my real hair grows out, can anyone tell me how much I will pay these people?
You there, the keener in the front.
“Between $3,600 and $5,400.”
That is correct!
Now, can anyone tell me what we call that number?
You, in the leather!
“The lifetime value of a customer?”
Now, let’s make things more interesting. Can anybody take a guess at the approximate referral value I would have? How much they can reasonably guess I would give them in referrals?
Come on, anyone? Keener girl?
“Um… a thousand dollars?”
Not bad. Not a bad guess at all.
We can actually assume I’ll give approximately the same amount in referral dollars as I do in my own dollars. So we’ll say I’ll give $3,600 to $5,400 of my own money, and another $3,600 to $5,400 of other people’s money over the lifetime of my relationship with that vendor.
That means that, if I stay alive and happy, I will be ultimately worth between $7,200 and $10,800 to this establishment.
Where the comedy becomes a tragedy
Let’s flash forward to today.
This morning I decided to go to the beach after work.
I opened up Google maps at my office, which I never do.
Guess what I found!
There’s a hair extensions place!
Guess what else!
It’s one of the places I decided not to go with because they didn’t have a website!
I drove several hours and slept in a hotel to get these things and there is a hair extensions place next door to my office.
What this means to you
The doubtless lovely and well meaning people at the local place have probably been telling themselves for honest-to-God years that they “have to get it together”. They’ve probably been telling themselves they “have to get to that”… “that” being a website, a sign, a flyer campaign, a photograph, a portfolio, a call to the local paper and/or a business card at the coffee shop.
I understand. I get it. I do. But my ten grand goes to the people who already got to it.
We all have something we’re meaning to get to, me included.
There’s a lot of money on the line. Get to it now.